What Is an Expository Essay?
Basically, expository essays are explanatory writings. They involve information and analysis to provide a wider and clearer description of a narrower topic or statement. Like research papers, expository essays usually involve some investigation, but not so deep and extensive. Another difference from normal research consists in a lesser persuasive component. On the other hand, expository essays are focused on particular topics and support their points with examples hence they have much in common with research texts.
Thus, the goal of an expository essay consists in explaining the topic in a logical and consistent way. Expository essays provide a thorough analysis of the topic without any references to the writer’s opinions.
To assist the essay writers in answering the question “What is an expository essay?”, we are happy to offer a few hints how to cope with this task.
The structure of an expository essay
Regarding the structure, an expository essay basically has the same elements as other essay types:
- The main statement or idea around which the essay evolves.
- The introduction that presents the statement or main idea.
- The main part (body) paragraphs where evidence is provided to illustrate and support the author’s points. Given the explanatory nature of expository essays, the evidence serves to clarify and deepen the content of main statement (idea).
- Transition spots that logically connect the adjoining pieces (usually paragraphs) of the essay.
- The conclusive part (paragraph) that should emphasizes the central statement or idea.
The 5-paragpraph format
A common format for an expository essay is a 5-paragraph text, which may serve as a good starting point, especially for less experienced essay writers. A 5-paragraph essay includes the following basic sections:
- Introductory paragraph with a clear-cut main (key) statement (thesis).
- Three main (body) paragraphs providing evidence and analysis that links the evidence with the thesis.
- Concluding paragraph summarizing the essay via its revaluation in the context of the main statement.
The above mentioned 5-paragraph formula may be useful, but it is just one of many possible structural patterns. In principle, the structure of an expository essay should be determined by its contents, and by other factors such as its length.
How to write an expository essay
We offer the following procedure of composing and revising an expository essay:
- Try to find a few expository essay examples that should be a big helpful during the writing process, especially for less experiences essay writers.
- Let us start by clarifying the assignment to make sure you understand it correctly. After that you select a topic that seems to you prospective for better explanation of the assigned concept via widening and clarifying its description. For an expository essay, the choice of the topic is essential (together with that of the main statement).
- Make a brief outline of your future paper and formulate its main statement that addresses the assigned concept. Try to find a promising and original plot for your essay and compose the statement so that it will emphasize its original character. Usually the choice of the key statement is the main factor of overall success.
- Look for specific examples to support your key points. Depending on the topic, the examples may be found based on your personal experience or learning. Certainly, each example must be relevant to the plot of your essay.
- Try to compose an exciting and meaningful concluding section. The conclusion should sum up your key points without merely repeating the content of the previous sections. For example, you might propose various new implications of the essay results like forecasts or recommendations based on the evidence stated in your essay.
- If you feel that something is wrong with the essay, revise the main statement. A sound statement usually means a solid essay. On the other hand, a well considered statement helps the rest of the paper fall perfectly into place.
- To properly perform its function, an expository essay should complete at least several (preferably all) of the following tasks (which may overlap and merge to a certain extent):
- Defining your main terms and ideas.
- Providing an unbiased analysis based on relevant facts and examples
- Conveying the information to the reader in a clear and comprehensible manner.
- Describing specific examples (which are parts of the evidence).
- Comparing your examples in the context of your main statement (thesis).
- Analyzing causal relationships between the examples provided in the essay.
- Uniting the examples into a single proving entity by connecting them to the key statement and to each other.
- Improving the original interpretation of the assigned topic by making it more consistent and rigorous and by adding original and interesting prospects in its context.
- The conclusion should correctly reflect the essay results by highlighting its key statement and principal supporting ideas.
And now the final step. On completing your expository essay, try to get a feedback on your work from some experienced essay writer or from an acquaintance.